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2023 Trends in Sustainability

By Alicia Silva - Sustentabilidad para México (SUMe)


By Alicia Silva | President - Fri, 02/17/2023 - 11:00

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As we begin our programs and plans for 2023, it is important to review the megatrends and, of course, what is going on with our North American neighbors. With the Trudeau-Biden visit to Mexico, lots of environmental issues were put on the table and, regardless of what the Mexican government decides to act upon, there are several trends that will affect us as a country. An environmental emphasis is at the top of the agenda and the main priority, from Davos to Egypt. 

New paradigms and words started to emerge in 2022 that now have to be put into action.

We are no longer in a planning stage; we need to move to an action phase, so businesses in Mexico need to hear this message and act on it.


These are some of the main main topics for every company to consider working on in 2023:

  • Decarbonization
  • Net-zero strategies
  • Resilience and climate risks
  • Biodiversity
  • Green Mobility

Decarbonization: Creating a plan to decarbonize our operations seems to be a huge challenge. I have seen emissions growing in the last couple years with no real effort, or very little effort, to reduce them. Now is the time to take this seriously. The sequence is known to everybody: energy efficiency, clean energy, compensation. In this regard, building materials, mobility and waste are also important issues to address in our decarbonization strategy. Putting together a plan and acting on it is a must. Just installing PV is not enough for our operations. Energy storage and other synergies can help us work around the restrictions in the Mexican legislation to help move decarbonization at the required pace. 

Net Zero: Net-zero strategies are not only about energy. Net zero also refers to water, waste and carbon. Reviewing the operations of our company and creating plans to be self-sufficient is a strategy that can help us be resilient in the climate and environmental  crisis we face. In Mexico, the water crisis is a wake-up call for implementing strategies to close the loop on water, and we do have the technology to do it. But waste and mobility are a big part of the net-zero and decarbonization strategy. When we analyze a building and its operations, transportation has a huge impact on the carbon and emissions footprint. 

Resilience and climate risk: This is now a huge non-financial risk that businesses have to consider. In Mexico, the main risks are related to heat and water stress. Addressing this as an adaptation strategy will ensure business continuity. From water treatment plants to making sure our employees have a good temperature for working and planting trees so cities do not keep increasing the temperature are some of the actions we need to customize in our business operation. 

Biodiversity: Biodiversity is crucial and any business that thinks we do not live in a system that is  connected to the health of our environment is already at risk. Lots of mistakes have been made in thinking that reforestation efforts are the only necessary strategy. Creating biological corridors and protecting insects and bees seem like tree-hugging; however it has been proven that our health and survival is linked to the health of our environment, from the air quality that we breathe to our water quality and  the mental health provided to us by nature. We need to understand the role that biodiversity plays in our lives and in our business continuity.

Green Mobility: Since cars and transportation have huge emissions, greening our mobility is an important trend. We all have seen the new electric cars and electric buses in most cities; however, active mobility, meaning infrastructure for bicycles and other cleaner means of transportation, is going to make the difference. Our businesses need to create plans for green transportation for our employees and for our goods. Electrifying fleets with a dirty energy source will not be as effective as harnessing clean energy and then using clean energy vehicles. 

With sustainability, everything is integrated, with one thing connected to another, as you saw in the descriptions I put together for the different issues. Sustainability can be complicated, because it needs to be customized to every business. These trends are going to impact businesses as investors and even employees are going to start asking for answers to these issues. The roadmaps will need to be more stringent and will need more support in terms of investment and support from all stakeholders. 

Putting a plan together and acting on it is now a must! SUMe can always be a source of knowledge for that plan.

Photo by:   Alicia Silva

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